Traditional integration

A motion controller for each moving device

Traditionally, integrating a robot into a machine architecture consisted in connecting several controllers to a line PLC. An example is represented in the drawing above.

The major limitation of this approach is that each set of motion axis (robot included) is treated as a separate device (a machine within the machine) with its own programming language, HMI, and I/Os.
The main consequences of these limitations are:

  • an engineer who needs to intervene on this architecture, either during its development or for service purposes, needs to be trained on each and every equipment
  • these pieces of equipment need to interact with each other to some extent (after all, they are all physically located in the same machine), the fact that they are all “isolated” to begin with makes a high level integration more difficult

The question is, how can we improve ?